At Home

We will aim to ring you within a week of discharge to check how you are doing.

Complications do not happen often but it is very important to know what to look out for:

  • It is not unusual to suffer griping abdominal pain which should only last a few minutes. However, severe pain that lasts for several hours within two weeks of your operation may indicate a leakage of fluid from where the two pieces of bowel were rejoined. You may get a fever with this and feel generally unwell. Please contact us or the surgical assessment unit immediately.
  • Your wound may be slightly red and uncomfortable for the first two weeks. Please contact your GP if your wound becomes inflamed, swollen, painful or is leaking fluid.
  • Your bowel habit may change as part of your bowel has been removed. You may experience loose stools or constipation. You may also feel an urgency to go to the toilet. This may happen for a few months and this is normal. If you have persistent diarrhoea for more than 3 to 4 days or if you are constipated for more than 3 to 4 days then contact the Colorectal Nurse or Nurse Specialist for advice.

Good nutrition is a vital part of recovery. It may take weeks before your appetite returns to normal. Try eating small meals frequently, add snacks also.

Sufficient food intake helps to prevent tiredness and promotes a faster recovery. Please make sure that you drink plenty of fluid at home, particularly if you have a stoma or loose stools.

You should take regular exercise daily, gradually increase your exercise during the four weeks following your operation until you are back to your normal level of activity.

It is important to rest in between, feeling physically tired after an operation is natural. Be guided by your body and your common sense.

Avoid lifting for a minimum of six weeks as healing inside takes place.

Do not drive until you are confident that you can drive safely, and make an emergency stop. This is usually 4 to 6 weeks. It is best to contact your insurance company to inform them of your operation.

Many people are able to return to work within 6 to 8 weeks of surgery. If your job involves heavy, manual labour this period may be longer.